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ross paul vigeant | senior thesis design + management | spring 2010

your guide to green style 1


statement of purpose

Thistle solves the problem of consumer seeking an intuitive review blog that allows sustainable and ethical ranking of possessions, new purchases or future ones. Acting as a tastemaker database, we make suggestions that benefit the customer, the brand and Thistle.


index

market analysis competitive landscape pricing unit analysis stategic growth marketing plan product prototype financials summary appendix

5 11 17 21 23 29 33 45 47

3


market analysis Ideally everyone would be interested in the topic. But realistically, that’s not the case. We can determine who is actually interested by stratifying the audience. It’s an online media, so only frequent Internet users. It is centered around fashion, so mostly people with an interest in fashion. And finally, its specialized in ecological and ethical fashion, so specifically those concerned with sustainability. While the goal might be everyone, Thistle’s beginning audience appears to be fairly focused.

INTERNET USERS FASHION INTEREST ECO FOCUSED

TARGET MARKET

5


TARGET MARKET CHARACTERISTICS DEMOGRAPHIC

www.alexa.com provided demographic information on the audience of a particular website. Above is an example for treehugger.com. After running several of these I determined some of the vitally important demographic characteristics of Thistle’s target market. Cross referencing popular and sucsessful sustainable websites and fashion websites allowed for a wholly realized person.

The average thistle.com user is female. She is typically 18-24 years old with no children. She is college educated and typically accesses the site from work. *

* data from http://alexa.com


GEOGRAPHIC

Using alexa.com, I was able to determine the country from which a site was accessed. I used comparable sites such as treehugger.com. All of the sites showed more than 50% of their page views came from computers located in the United States. Countries that followed closely included Canada, Germany, India and the United Kingdom. It is evident that the United States would be the primary targeted market. The Internet platform would easily allow for international customers. *

PSYCHOGRAPHIC Due to the specialized nature of thistle.com, the targeted audience will have strong convictions when it comes to wearing ecologically and ethically approved clothing. The viewer will appreciate design, fit, texture, label and history when it comes to their fashion interest. The average user will have many blogs that she hits during the day, getting her information from the places she trusts most and forming her own opinions on what she finds on the website.

* data from http://alexa.com

7


MARKET SIZE DATA SIZE OF TARGET MARKET The market size for thistle.com is difficult to estimate. Although treehugger.com recieves as many as 1.5M unique visitors in a single month, fashionista.com tops out at around 100K, and ecofashionworld.com (the first website on google for ‘eco fashion’) yields only 5k unique visitors within its most popular month. *

From this information we can conclude that with proper marketing and a customer friendly interface, thistle.com can expect at least 5K unique visitors a month. By improving on the features found in competitor websites and offering new services such as e-commerce, thistle.com should be able to capture much of that huge gap between the compared websites.

* data from http://siteanalytics.compete.com


TARGET MARKET TRENDS There has been a global 15% increase in online shopping for clothing, accessories, and shoes. A 2008 survey showed that 41% of Americans have purchased in that category in the past 3 months. Within the same survey, results showed that the online customer tends to be extremely loyal. When asked the primary factor in deciding what site to buy from, 62% of Americans chose ‘Same site I buy from regularly.’ Once a shopper makes a purchase and is happy with the transaction, there is a greater chance of them becoming a repeat customer. **

ECOFASHIONWORLD.COM 5K

FASHIONISTA.COM 500K

TREEHUGGER.COM 1.5M

5K UNIQUE VISITORS PER MONTH

** data from 2008 Nielson Consumer Report on Trends in Online Shopping

9


competitive landscape Deciding who is a threat can be difficult. Using a comprehensive list of similar sites, the following competitive matrix provides a look into where Thistle stands among its competitors. I judged sites against four attributes that are definitive and essential to Thistle. While none of the web sites could garner all four, some came close. However, competing blogs are not the only threat. The green trend bubble is in constant question of validity and the ease of reproduction makes the information Thistle provides valuable for only a short period after posting.

11


thistle competitor matrix blog

fashion

review

treehugger.com

x

x

x

ecofashionworld.com

x

x

x

x

greenfashiononline.com ecofabulous.com

x

kaightnyc.com

x

x x

x x

evolvedfashion.com

x

x

ecoki.com

x

x

threadbanger.com

x

x

grist.org

x

x

ecofriendlysolution.com

store

x

x

x

Utilizing the competitive matrix, it would seem that none of Thistle’s competitors are identical in terms of features. There are, however, similarities between some sites that offer e-commerce and reviews (the two main advantages). I might conclude that Thistle would be able to provide a unique source of information and content compared to the comparable web sites due to our strategic plan to offer an eco fashion based blog with reviews and eventually an e-commerce offering.


COMPETITION MARKET SEGMENT Some of the listed web sites do cater to a different target market than Thistle. Treehugger.com provides information on a plethora of green products, making it a one-stop-shop in terms of eco-friendly reviews. Kaight has a brickand-mortar storefront, making it unique in the line-up of web sites and most likely dominating that particular market segment. Grist.org offers content that is a definite threat to Thistle, it being fashion focused and offering a constant blog stream. That is a huge portion of the market segment Thistle hopes to capture.

BUSINESS VALUE PROPOSITION By providing a comprehensive online definitive guide and taste-maker, Thistle aims to educate, inform and aid its viewership in becoming part of the eco-friendly fashion trend. This goal ultimately provides funding to Thistle in terms of online sales and advertisements, while simultaneously helping the viewer to make a smaller carbon footprint.

MARKET SHARE Based on the monthly unique visitors to treehugger.com (1.5M according to alexa.com) we aim to capture 1/3 of their total monthly visitors. If an average of 500K consumers visit Thistle monthly, there will be both interest from advertisers and a valuable foundation to develop e-commerce.

13


+ DESIGNERS WILL PROVIDE FALSE OR MISLEADING INFORMATION

+ SOURCE CODE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR RECREATING LOOK AND TRADEDRESS

+ CONTRIBUTORS WILL SUPPLY VALUABLE REVIEWS AND INFORMATION OUTSIDE OF THISTLE

+ HOSTING SERVICE WILL SHARE INFORMATION/SETUP OWN SITE

SUPPLIER POWER + DRAWING ADVERTISERS AND ATTRACTING THEM TO THISTLE’S VIEWERSHIP

+ CREATING A FOUNDATION AUDIENCE DEVELOPED FROM VIEWERS OF SIMILAR SITES

+ OTHER SITES CAN OFFER SIMILAR FEATURES

SUBSTITUTE PRODUCTS

+ AFTER DEVELOPING LOYAL VIEWERSHIP, ADVERTISERES WILL FOLLOW

+ NO KNOWN SITES ARE OFFERING ALL THE PIVOTAL FEATURES OF THISTLE

+ INDUSTRY IS GROWING EXPONENTIALLY

+ A HUGE NUMBER OF FASHION OR GREEN TREND BLOGS AND WEBSITES

COMPETITIVE RIVALRY

NEW MARKET ENTRANTS

+ INCUMBENTS WILL TRY TO MIMIC KEY DRAWING FEATURES OF THISTLE

+ AS VIEWERSHIP RISES, BANDWIDTH AND HOSTING IS KEY TO RETAIN EXPERIENCE

+ BLOGS ARE EASILY, CHEAPLY, AND CONSTANTLY BEING CREATED

BUYER POWER

+ BUYER NOT INTERESTED IN ADVERTS OR NOT WILLING TO CLICK THRU

+ BUYER MAY NOT REALIZE IMPORTANCE AND RELEVACE OF SERVICE BEING OFFERED

+ BUYERS CAN EASILY CHANGE TO OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

+ GROWING NUMBER OF BLOGS DAILY


PORTER’S FIVE FORCES On the opposite page I have developed a Porter’s diagram of competitive forces threatening Thistle. Defining these forces was tricky considering they are most effective when it comes to a definitive product or service.

15


pricing unit analysis Thistle’s main revenue stream is through online advertising. By providing consumers with an unparalled guide to green fashion, viewers will be loyal to the site and visit frequently. This provides an optimal enviroment for potential advertisers. The market is niche enough to be easily segmented, however not too niche as to exclude a large audience. Thistle will begin with simple ads on rotation and will proceed to a CPC revenue model.

17


PRICE POINTS Competitor’s price points on advertising are not available to the public. However industry advertisers pay an average of $23.54 to reach 1,000 viewers.* Thistle plans to posistion its advertising on par with its competitors. There will be an agressive advertising progression as Thistle gains more monthly viewers. Because Thistle is service based, markup is tricky to determine. Our costs include labor and hosting.

UNIT ANALYSIS By providing a comprehensive online definitive guide and taste-maker, Thistle aims to educate, inform and aid its viewership in becoming part of the eco-friendly fashion trend. This goal ultimately provides funding to Thistle in terms of online sales and advertisements, while simultaneously helping the viewer to make a smaller carbon footprint.

Basic Unit is an Advertisement

Merchant Account Fees to process payment............. 2.75% of sales

* http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/13/magazine/13DEMOGRAPHIC.html


19


strategic growth

Because Thistle is online only, it can really start at any time, from any Mac at any location. Because I want it to be successful, there are a few other things that need to be set in place. A competitive, intuitive and obviously attractive web site design is imperative to the future of Thistle. While an office is optimal, there is no immediate concern for a professional location (there is a ton of down time between starting the web site and actually attracting advertisers). Keeping expenses to a minimum is essential in the first few months of operation, therefore staff would be volunteers or be paid a low stipend. By keeping payroll and rent to a minimum, Thistle essentially cuts out the two most significant parts of start-up costs.

21


marketing plan Thistle’s unique selling propisition is that of service. We provide an extensive knowledge base to base purchases on. These reviews help viewers make the most educated choice possible. The blog provides an outlet for all of the creative and significant happenings in the eco-fashion world, and the forum for people to comment. The e-commerce allows viewers to purchase what they just read about and make a decision that helps both their personal style and the planet. Thistle’s differentiation is that its on Earth’s side, making the right choice a little more obvious.

23


HOW MARKETING WILL AID STRATEGIC GROWTH Marketing will aid in the general growth of Thistle. By blanketing other web sites and blogs with links to our own, we offer an alternative to viewers who are already interested in the topic. Often there is a community blogroll of which there are several participating similar blogs. These are essential to finding new viewers and potential customers. By providing quality information in an intuitive and easy-to-use way, there is a higher percentage of returning viewers. More viewers means advertisers, which means opportunity for growth. Producing editorials and collaborative efforts is also essential to creating a sense of authority around the styling and merchandising of Thistle.

MARKETING CHANNELS Social marketing is probably one of the most essential channels that Thistle will utilize. Using networking sites with specific focuses will allow Thistle to reach its absolute niche target demographic. By collaborating with other blogs and linking among each other, a sense of community will be created and allow viewers to easily reach Thistle. Eventually print media and editorials with the merchandise will allow viewers to have another media with which they can associate with Thistle.


LEADERBOARD Above is an example of a leaderboard advertisement for Thistle. It offers all of the features of the blog and a few pictures to show the nature of the content. It is essential to work with competitors in order to create a community of blogs. The same person who checks fashionista.com every morning at work will most likely find similar posts and information on thistle.com and become a daily user.

25


thistle

blog review store

your guide to green style

JOIN THE WRITE COMMUNITY

REVIEWS

COMPARE thistle.com BRANDS Edun

Graphic Tee 100% Organic Coton Made in Peru

$45.00

1

Extra Small Trail Blazer Soul

2

Small Trail Blazer Soul

3

Medium Trail Blazer Soul

4

Large Trail Blazer Soul

5

Extra Large Trail Blazer Soul Song Title (3:42)

REVIEWS Band Name

More Edun

thistle your guide to green style

Thistle Eco-Rate

$0.99 CART

More Tees


27


product prototype As detailed in the strategic growth figure, Thistle begins with offering a relevant blog that is frequently updated in order to attract viewers. As viewership increases and the demand for Thistle increases, advertisers will be drawn to the site. Because of the specialized nature of the website, we are able to provide a captive audience for their product. Although Thistle makes money from advertisements, it must be consumer focused rather than advertiser focused (preferably an amiable middle ground).

29


DESCRIBING THISTLE Thistle is an Eco Fashion Review Blog & Store. These three factors allow to be differentiated among its competitors and off advertisers an unparalleled chance to reach target consumers. Our market segmentation is largely untapped and ripe for an immediate connection. The user experience and interface is meant to appeal to our customer’s sense of clean and efficient design. In an attempt to create a sustainable business, Thistle has an outlined strategic growth plan that involves an evolution from blog to store to co-branded and private label apparel.

WHAT THISTLE WILL LOOK LIKE The paramount factor for every website is to have an intuitive interface. Having accurate and responsible information is only half the battle. Thistle must deliver the blog posts, reviews, brand suggestions and advertisements in an attractive and easy-to-use manner. One should be able to quickly navigate and find what they need and simoltaneously Thistle should offer similar posts, products, and companies.


31


financials

33


thistle staffing chart

contracted developers

owner

year one

external vendors

contracted bloggers

year two

private label team

year three

MANAGEMENT AND STAFFING


BARRIERS TO ENTRY

product

consumer

+ too niche for advertisers

+ going green a fad

+ no immediate ad results

+ limited consumer spending

+ constant need for innovation

+ keeping viewer’s interest

+ people lose interest

+ disinterest in advertisers

+ many blogs devoted already

+ brands have their own blogs

+ easily copied and reworked

+ industry changes trend

+ huge backers like Discovery

+ trend becomes obsolete

+ eco-apparel’s own blogs

+ existing blogs

competitor

industry 35


ASSUMPTIONS

(1) ADVERTISING SALES Average Unique Visitors/Mo: (5K after one year) Average CPM: $20 (Fashionista.com Media Kit) (2) E-COMMERCE SALES Begins Second Year. Using an Amazon.com platfom, retailers will pay $40 subsciption mo fee to sell. (Amazon) (3) COST OF SALES Assuming all purchases are credit card purchases, Merchant Account Fees of 2.75% (Visa/MC) (4) TRADEMARK $350 to register Trademark. Legal fees associated with trademark are listed under Legal Fees (Expert Interview) (5) DOMAIN NAME $20 to register domain name and $10/yr to keep it every year (www.inmotionhosting.com) (6) LEGAL FEES $400 to go through the steps associated with registering the trademark (Expert Interview) (7) EQUIPMENT $5000 initial investment for equipment ($3000 computer, $2000 in software/printer/accessories) (8) WEB HOSTING Jan - Domain Registration; Basic Hosting, then VSP, then dedicated server (http://www.inmotionhosting.com/) (9) CONTRACTORS Year One - Initial Coding & Self blogging/Interns. Year Two - dedicated bloggers payed per post (160 posts/mo at $10 ea) (10) RENT Monthly rent of $1000, 20% working space dedicated to business (Field Research) (11) ELECTRICITY Monthly bill of $50, 20% going towards business (12) BROADBAND $60 per month for internet access (Time Warner Cable) (13) OFFICE SUPPLIES Printer Ink, Computer Accessories (14) BOOKKEEPER $150 per month to start and then $500 when more complicated (15) TRANSPORT $90 per month for unlimited metro card (16) MEALS/ENTERTAINMENT $100 to entertain potential things to blog and review (17) TRAVEL $500 to attend MAGIC in Las Vegas every August (18) ONLINE MARKETING $100 to make multiple posts on other blogs and purchase ad space on other blogs (19) PRINT MARKETING Year Two - Stickers and postcard flyer/mailer (20) PAYROLL Year One - No Salaried Employees. Year Two - One salaried employee (Me) (21) PAYROLL TAXES 30% of Payroll


BANK BALANCE $25,000 $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $5,000 $0 CASH (USD$) 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

-$5,000 -$10,000 -$15,000 QUARTER

37


$0 $0 $0 $0 $0

$0 $0 $0 $0 $0

OPERATIONAL (8) WEB HOSTING $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 (9) CONTRACTORS $3,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (10) RENT $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 (11) ELECTRICITY $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 (12) BROADBAND $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 (13) OFFICE SUPPLIES $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 (14) BOOKKEEPER $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 (15) TRANSPORT $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 (16) MEALS/ENTMT $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 (17) TRAVEL $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $500 $0 $0 $0 $0 MARKETING (18) ONLINE $0 $0 $0 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 (19) PRINT $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (20) PAYROLL $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (21) PAYROLL TAXES $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 TOTAL OPERATING $3,730 $730 $730 $830 $830 $830 $830 $1,330 $830 $830 $830 $830 TOTAL EXPENSE $9,500 $730 $730 $830 $830 $830 $830 $1,330 $830 $830 $830 $830 NET PROFIT -$9,500 -$664 -$627 -$670 -$579 -$438 -$218 -$374 $664 $1,037 $1,504 $2,088

EXPENSES START UP (4) TRADEMARK $350 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (5) DOMAIN NAME $20 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (6) LEGAL FEES $400 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (7) EQUIPMENT $5,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 TOTAL START UP $5,770 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

YR ONE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC SALES (1) ADVERTISING SALES $0 $68 $106 $165 $258 $403 $629 $983 $1,536 $1,920 $2,400 $3,000 (2) ECOMMERCE SALES $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 TOTAL SALES $0 $68 $106 $165 $258 $403 $629 $983 $1,536 $1,920 $2,400 $3,000 (3) LESS COST OF SALES $0 $2 $3 $5 $7 $11 $17 $27 $42 $53 $66 $83 GROSS PROFIT $0 $66 $103 $160 $251 $392 $612 $956 $1,494 $1,867 $2,334 $2,918 GROSS MARGIN % N/A 97% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97%

INCOME STATEMENT


OPERATIONAL WEB HOSTING $600 $600 $600 CONTRACTORS $2,400 $2,400 $2,400 RENT $600 $600 $600 ELECTRICITY $30 $30 $30 BROADBAND $180 $180 $180 OFFICE SUPPLIES $300 $300 $300 BOOKKEEPER $450 $450 $450 TRANSPORT $270 $270 $270 MEALS/ENTERTAINMENT $300 $300 $300 TRAVEL $0 $0 $500 MARKETING ONLINE $300 $300 $300 PRINT $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 PAYROLL $9,000 $9,000 $9,000 PAYROLL TAXES $2,700 $2,700 $2,700 TOTAL OPERATING $18,630 $18,630 $19,130 TOTAL EXPENSE $18,640 $18,630 $19,130 NET PROFIT -$5,067 -$2,130 $811

$300 $2,250 $12,000 $3,600 $26,730 $26,740 $2,060

$300 $1,500 $9,000 $2,700 $18,630 $18,630 $5,370

$7,759

$26,730

$300 $2,250 $12,000 $3,600 $26,730

$600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,500 $270 $300 $0

$0 $0 $0 $0 $0

$0 $10 $0 $0 $10 $600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,500 $270 $300 $0

$10,750 $31,420 $42,170 $924 $41,246 98%

$8,958 $26,303 $35,261 $772 $34,489 98%

$7,465 $21,979 $29,444 $645 $28,800 98%

$14,016

$27,230

$300 $2,250 $12,000 $3,600 $27,230

$600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,500 $270 $300 $500

$0 $0 $0 $0 $0

3RD QTR

YR THREE 1ST QTR 2ND QTR

$600 $2,400 $600 $30 $180 $300 $450 $270 $300 $0

YR TWO 1ST QTR 2ND QTR 3RD QTR 4TH QTR SALES ADVERTISING SALES $3,600 $4,320 $5,184 $6,221 ECOMMERCE SALES $10,278 $12,550 $15,204 $18,316 TOTAL SALES $13,878 $16,870 $20,388 $24,537 LESS COST OF SALES $305 $370 $447 $537 GROSS PROFIT $13,573 $16,500 $19,941 $24,000 GROSS MARGIN % 98% 98% 98% 98% EXPENSES START UP TRADEMARK $0 $0 $0 $0 DOMAIN NAME $10 $0 $0 $0 LEGAL FEES $0 $0 $0 $0 EQUIPMENT $0 $0 $0 $0 TOTAL START UP $10 $0 $0 $0

39

$22,553

$26,730

$300 $2,250 $12,000 $3,600 $26,730

$600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,500 $270 $300 $0

$0 $0 $0 $0 $0

$12,899 $37,488 $50,387 $1,104 $49,283 98%

4TH QTR


$66 $66

$83 $83

FIXED COST (8) WEB HOSTING $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 (9) CONTRACTORS $3,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (10) RENT $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 (11) ELECTRICITY $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 (12) BROADBAND $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 $60 (13) OFFICE SUPPLIES $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 (14) BOOKKEEPER $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 $150 (15) TRANSPORT $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 $90 (16) MEALS/ENTERTAINMENT $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 (17) TRAVEL $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $500 $0 $0 $0 $0 MARKETING (18) ONLINE $0 $0 $0 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 (19) PRINT $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 (20) PAYROLL $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 TOTAL FIXED COST $3,730 $730 $730 $830 $830 $830 $830 $1,330 $830 $830 $830 $830 TOTAL COSTS $3,730 $732 $733 $835 $837 $841 $847 $1,357 $872 $883 $896 $913 PRE-TAX INCOME -$3,730-$664 -$627 -$670 -$579 -$438 -$218 -$374 $664 $1,037 $1,504 $2,088 TAX EXPENSE (21) PAYROLL TAXES $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 NET INCOME -$3,730-$664 -$627 -$670 -$579 -$438 -$218 -$374 $664 $1,037 $1,504 $2,088 NET CASH FLOW $0 -$664 -$1,292-$1,961-$2,541-$2,979-$3,197-$3,571-$2,907-$1,870-$366 $1,721

EXPENSES VARIABLE COST (3) MERCHANT ACCT FEES $0 $2 $3 $5 $7 $11 $17 $27 $42 $53 TOTAL VARIABLE COST $0 $2 $3 $5 $7 $11 $17 $27 $42 $53

PRO FORMA CASH FLOW YR ONE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC SALES (1) ADVERTISING SALES $0 $68 $106 $165 $258 $403 $629 $983 $1,536 $1,920 $2,400 $3,000 (2) ECOMMERCE SALES $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 NET SALES $0 $68 $106 $165 $258 $403 $629 $983 $1,536 $1,920 $2,400 $3,000

CASH FLOW


FIXED COST WEB HOSTING $600 $600 $600 $600 CONTRACTORS $2,400 $2,400 $2,400 $2,400 RENT $600 $600 $600 $600 ELECTRICITY $30 $30 $30 $30 BROADBAND $180 $180 $180 $180 OFFICE SUPPLIES $300 $300 $300 $300 BOOKKEEPER $450 $450 $450 $450 TRANSPORT $270 $270 $270 $270 MEALS/ENTERTAINMENT $300 $300 $300 $300 TRAVEL $0 $0 $500 $0 MARKETING ONLINE $300 $300 $300 $300 PRINT $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 PAYROLL $9,000 $9,000 $9,000 $9,000 TOTAL FIXED COST $15,930 $15,930 $16,430 $15,930 TOTAL COSTS $16,235 $16,300 $16,877 $16,467 PRE-TAX INCOME -$2,357 $570 $3,511 $8,070 TAX EXPENSE PAYROLL TAXES $2,700 $2,700 $2,700 $2,700 NET INCOME -$5,057 -$2,130 $811 $5,370 NET CASH FLOW -$3,335 -$5,466 -$4,655 $715

$600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,500 $270 $300 $0 $300 $2,250 $12,000 $23,130 $23,902 $11,359 $3,600 $7,759 $10,543

$600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,50 $270 $300 $0 $300 $2,250 $12,000 $23,130 $23,775 $5,670 $3,600 $2,070 $2,785

$772 $772

$3,600 $14,016 $24,559

$17,616

$24,554

$300 $2,250 $12,000 $23,630

$600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,500 $270 $300 $500

$924 $924

$645 $645

EXPENSES VARIABLE COST LESS COST OF SALES $305 $370 $447 TOTAL VARIABLE COST $305 $370 $447 $537 $537

$10,750 $31,420 $42,170

$7,465 $21,979 $29,444

$8,958 $26,303 $35,261

3RD QTR

YR THREE 1ST QTR 2ND QTR

YR TWO 1ST QTR 2ND QTR 3RD QTR 4TH QTR SALES ADVERTISING SALES $3,600 $4,320 $5,184 $6,221 ECOMMERCE SALES $10,278 $12,550 $15,204 $18,316 NET SALES $13,878 $16,870 $20,388 $24,537

41

$3,600 $22,553 $47,112

$26,153

$24,234

$300 $2,250 $12,000 $23,130

$600 $4,800 $600 $30 $180 $300 $1,500 $270 $300 $0

$1,104 $1,104

$12,899 $37,488 $50,387

4TH QTR


SHAREHOLDER’S EQUITY

owner


43


thistle is an eco fashion review blog & store

company profile thistle llc website: www.thistle.com industry: eco fashion/blogs founded: january 2011 registration: NYS C-corp

contact

ross paul vigeant 328 east 19th street, 4c new york, ny 10003 (781) 816-3381 info@rosspaulvigeant.com

financial information overview: aiming to generate ad revenue year one, followed by e-commerce sales year two, and private label sales year three. capital invested to date: $10k

management ross paul vigeant found & ceo

skills +organized and detail oriented +problem solver & team player +intermediate in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign experience +luxury retail buying, pr research & development and pr fashion house, fashion brand management & editorial experience education +BBA in Design + Management from Parsons, the New School of Design

keys to success +developed strategic growth plan +committed founder +largely untapped market +existing industry relationships +knowledge and passion for intuitive design +alternative approach to business managment

Because thistle is online only, it can really start at any time. A competitive, intuitive and obviously attractive web site design is imperative to the future of Thistle. While an office is optimal, there is no immediate concern for a professional location (there is a ton of down time between starting the web site and actually attracting advertisers). Keeping expenses to a minimum is essential in the first few months of operation, therefore staff would be have to volunteer or paid a low stipend. By keeping payroll and rent to a minimum, Thistle essentially cuts out the two most significant parts of start-up costs.

customer problem

Thistle solves the customer problem of consumers seeking an accessible and intuitive blog and review website that will allow them to rank their posessions, new purchases or future ones. By providing a tastemaker database for these consumers, Thistle will be able to make suggestions to the consumers that benefit the customer (in terms of being eco-friendly), the brand (for actively accessing new customers) and Thistle itself (by improving both relationships).

product and service Thistle is an Eco Fashion Review Blog & Store. These three factors allow to be differentiated among its competitors and off advertisers an unparalleled chance to reach target consumers. The user experience and interface is meant to appeal to our customer’s sense of clean and efficient design. In an attempt to create a sustainable business, Thistle has an outlined strategic growth plan that involves an evolution from blog to store to co-branded and private label apparel.

target market The market size for thistle.com is difficult to estimate. Although treehugger.com recieves as many as 1.5M unique visitors in a single month, fashionista.com tops out at around 100K, and ecofashionworld.com (the first website on google for ‘eco fashion’) yields only 5k unique visitors within its most popular month. From this information we can conclude that with proper marketing and a customer friendly interface, thistle.com can expect at least 5K unique visitors a month.

customers Ideally everyone would be interested in the topic. Obviously, that’s not the case. We can determine who is actually interested by stratifying the audience. It’s an online media, so only frequent Internet users. It is centered around fashion, so mostly people with an interest in fashion. And finally, its specialized in ecological and ethical fashion, so specifically those concerned with sustainability. While the goal might be everyone, Thistle’s beginning audience appears to be fairly focused.

sales/marketing strategy Marketing will aid in the general growth of Thistle. By blanketing other web sites and blogs with links to our own, we offer an alternative to viewers who are already interested in the topic. Often there is a community blogroll of which there are several participating similar blogs. These are essential to finding new viewers and potential customers. By providing quality information in an intuitive and easy-to-use way, there is a higher percentage of returning viewers. More viewers means advertisers, which means opportunity for growth. Producing editorials and collaborative efforts is also essential to creating a sense of authority around the styling and merchandising of Thistle.

business model Thistle’s unique selling propisition is that of service. We provide an extensive knowledge base to draw reviews on. These reviews help viewers make the most educated choice possible. The blog provides an outlet for all of the creative and significant happenings in the eco-fashion world, and the forum for people to comment. The e-commerce allows viewers to purchase what they just read about and make a decision that helps both their personal style and the planet. Thistle’s differentiation is that its on Earth’s side, making the right choice a little more obvious.

competitive advantage Utilizing my competitive matrix, it would seem that none of Thistle’s competitors are identical in terms of features. There are, however, similarities between some sites that offer e-commerce and reviews (the two main advantages). I would have to conclude that Thistle would be able to provide a unique source of information and content compared to the web sites.

financials revenue expenditure net

2010

2011

2012

$2,918

$24,000

$49,283

$830

$18,630

$26,730

$2,088

$5,370

$22,553 45


SURVERY RESULTS would you be more willing to purchase clothing knowing its organic? yes 49

other* 14

no 14

* the 14 other responses indicated they would only do so if the price was the equal or cheaper

studied eco sustainability have you purchased organic clothing?

no 30

yes 48

maybe 24

what’s most important to you when shopping for clothes? most important style price brand organic

yes 31

no 23

least important


appendix

sources websites http://www.alexa.com/ http://www.treehugger.com/ http://fashionista.com/ http://www.startup-review.com/ http://www.inmotionhosting.com/ http://www.nytimes.com/ books The Back of the Napkin (Dan Roam) Eco-chic: The Fashion Paradox (Sandy Black) appendix

4 10 16 20 22 28 32

photo credits http://bauhaus.de/ http://pivotboutique.com http://pivotboutique.com http://en.spread-grani.com http://www.notesfromtheworld.com http://www.summerrayne.net/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/arborealwebley/

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Blog Business Plan